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Eric Hall

IDBDR Aug 2018

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Did this three years ago and the chance came up to do it again with some really great guys. I know Jim Bean, Rick Giroux, Dennis Godwin and Gary Rebensdorf are coming but not sure who else.

 

Rode 750 miles yesterday to Rome, OR and lucky max temp was just 87. Leaving at 4:45 am helps.

 

Stopped at this cool roadside cafe/campground called Rome Station. Camped for just $5 and had the best breakfast I’ve had in a long while for just $10

 

Today was trying to get to Yellow Pine to meet up with the guys. Got to Lowman to get on the IDBDR trail and thought I was late at 1:15 but it turns out they were behind me! Made it to Yellow Pine in just 3:15 at Rally Pace!

 

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Thought the group had already gone at Lowman so I got on the trail at 1:30 and raced to Yellow Pine by 4:45 (85 miles). Fast and no dust!

Met the crew last night and camped river side. Even stripped down and had a cold bath!

Today we are en route to Burgdorf hot springs.
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I sold Jim these tank guards a few years ago

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Met the group in Yellow Pine and we camped nearby. Had a bath in the river that was amazing!

Next day we headed to Burgdorf Hot Springs and camped near there. Lance took us on some amazing single track out to Loon Lake and I can’t wait to post that video when I get back. Wish I had a micro as card reader for my phone.

Lance bent his shifter and was going to head back anyways. Ben busted his shifter but we managed to do a temp fix.

Next day we went to Riggins for lunch and supplies but Rick was “too cold” so we slabbed to Grangerville so he could get a new sleeping bag and then slabbed to Elk City where we got some steaks and then went to a campground about 30 miles east called Poet Creek and had a great dinner.

Today we headed on to Darby and are staying with Rick’s brother and sister in law where I just had a much needed shower and we’re doing laundry

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So the temps are like record high now so we opted to head west to the coast for cooler temps for our ride home. 102 now in Spokane and we ran into Evan Brown so having lunch at Applebee’s

Missing that cool morning temps right now
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More pics...

My spacious Galaxi 2p tent from Nemo

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We met this guy Viktor in Ashland, OR riding around the US since last Nov

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Burgdorf Hot Springs.  Sasquatch is REAL! 

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Dinner in Yellow Pine with the crew.  Yes, that's probably food in my teeth.

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so relaxing!

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This RV tent site near Klamath, CA was amazing

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On the Lost Coast

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People been saying the tracking with SpotX "lags by a few hours" but this is proof that's not true.  I stopped last night and checked and it had me dead on.

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That's a long trip!

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Wanted to do a more in-depth report on the trip and talk about some things we typically don't like to bring up.

But first of all I have to say I've never ridden with a better group of guys.  They are all first rate people and I really enjoyed meeting many of them and getting to know them better.  A few of them I've known only online and it was good to make new friends in person.

Highlights for me...

  • The first day on the dirt riding solo was amazing.  I got to South Fork Lodge at what I thought was a late time of 1:15 and started out trying to "catch up" but it turns out they had not even gotten there yet.  There was no cell service so I didn't get their text.  I should have had Bip send my SpotX a message before that but didn't.  I rode it pretty fast and got to Yellow Pine in 3:15 which I guess turned out to be about a 26 mph avg speed.
  • Day two single track with Lance, Dennis and Ben was SO much fun.  I'll have video of that soon.
  • I got to bbq some steaks for the guys at Poet Creek and that was a blast.  One of the guys (will remain nameless) was entertaining us by lighting his farts!  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!
  • The hospitality of Rick's brother Nick and sister in law Carla was so incredible!  Super great people.

And now the challenges!

  • I guess a guy I didn't meet on day 1 injured his leg and was out then Hank had a sore elbow for which he'd already scheduled surgery for when he got back and that took him out.
  • Jim had his front wheel spokes loosen pretty alarmingly and set out for Woody's Wheels in Denver on his way back to get it fixed
  • Two other GS's had leaking/failed suspensions
  • Rick was too cold sleeping so he got a new bag at a town along the way
  • My sleeping pad had a leak and I got used to sleeping on the hard ground for three nights before Jim loaned me his after he bailed with a bad front wheel.
  • Hot weather had us cut the trip short.  Not fun riding off road when temps are over 100 and you're at altitude.
  • And of course the other assorted group riding dramas that always seem to crop up

Which bring me to lessons learned.  I learned these a long time ago and we just didn't put them in place like we should have.  I think these are really important and this trip was kind of a last minute thing for me and next time I'll be sure to pay more attention to them.

  • Talk about your expectations before you start the trip.  How many days do you have to ride?  Do you want a rest day?  How much camping vs hotels do you want?  Are you cooking at camp or eating in town?
  • Something I learned at AOLRider was called "Plan the ride.  Ride the plan."  You have to do this every morning.  Know where you're going to finish and how you're going to get there.  Know where you're stopping for food, fuel, etc...  Let everyone know where you're going and how you're going to get there.  Bring and use your GPS too for chrissakes!  People get separated and plans help people know where/when to get back together and eliminates a lot of frustration.
  • Pick a leader; one who is comfortable making decisions rather than "I'm fine with whatever the group wants."  Some guy wants hot dogs, the other tacos. The group leader needs to make a call and say "how about tacos today and hot dogs tomorrow?"
  • Try not to sweat the petty things (or is it pet the sweaty things?)
    • One day we did an unknown (to me at least) side trip along some side roads to some lake then another 30 min or so around it to a campground.  The whole time I'm wondering in my helmet "where the F are we going and why are we here?"  So we stop at a campground and just as I'm about to voice these concerns the rider is off his bike with tears in his eyes and talks of camping there in the 70's with his family and some silly things his brother, who he'd only recently lost, was doing.  To him it was a way to reconnect with a very deep memory of his brother and suddenly my own concerns were just not that important anymore.
    • We were leaving a lunch stop and just as we're about to take off I realize I can't find my phone.  Turns out I thought I'd put it in my pocket but it went in the vent and slid down to the bottom of my pant leg.  They thought I was ready and because it was like 105 out and they were suited up and boiling, they took off.  I've been left behind before and it led to a sh*tstorm because we spent 30 minutes looking for the group and then went down the trail looking for them.  I wanted to tell this guy on an oilhead GS to take the bridge and not the water crossing because he was likely to get swamped, which he did.  So we wasted 90 minutes changing his oil and waiting for his air filter to dry in the sun.  I calmly told them later I didn't appreciate that but they assured me they weren't going to leave me and saw me the whole time.  I felt like making a bigger deal of it but glad I didn't become a drama queen.
  • I think these things are better managed in pre-paid organized rides by professional tour operators and can appreciate that value more now, lol.

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Looks like a great trip, sorry I missed it.

About your group ride lessons, a good tail gunner is just as important as the leader. Probably more experienced even, since every problem will fall in there lap so to speak. So they need to be knowledgeable of the plan, alternative routes, contact info/premade plans etc. The bigger the group the more detailed these need to be. Also loops back to ride the plan and leave the exploring to small known group rides.

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I could go on and on about group rides but just two more things.

One is pace.  It's important for a ride leader or the larger pack of faster riders not to get too far ahead of the tail of the group.  It's essentially a matter of how far do you want to have to ride back on the trail to find the rest of your group?  I think we did a really good job of that this time but I've been guilty of that before by getting way too far ahead of the last rider.  One guy was apologizing for his pace and it was totally unnecessary as he was barely 2-3 minutes behind us.  Not a big deal at all.  If you do happen to be a slower rider then you should absolutely go at your own pace and never feel shamed by anyone else for being the last guy. 

Another is having GPS, having the tracks and knowing how to use them.  People get separated and sometimes we make wrong turns so it's very important when you're in the middle of nowhere to be able to see if you're on the right path or not.  One guy I was with on another trip had some of the tracks but they were corrupted and usually halfway through the day he'd say "my tracks are gone."  But too often we get riders who just want to follow and don't even bother and that's when you get problems.  If you're a noob then that's understandable but if you've been riding more than a year then there's no reason you should still be GPS-phobic.

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